A Sudanese investigation into the June 3 raid on a Khartoum protest camp has found 87 people were killed and 168 wounded in the protest break-in by security forces, reported Reuters. The death toll is higher than previous official estimates.
During a news conference on Saturday, Fath al-Rahman Saeed, the head of the investigative committee appointed by the public prosecutor, said some members of the security forces fired live ammunition at protesters who were on a peaceful sit-in protest to demand the military transfer power to the civilians.
He said that three officers had violated orders by moving forces into the sit-in area outside the Defence Ministry, the main center for protests that had led to the ouster of longtime President Omar al-Bashir on April 11.
Saeed said an order was also issued to whip protesters. He revealed 17 of those killed were in the square occupied by protesters and that 48 of the wounded were hit by bullets.
The investigation committee found the security officers, who were given the task of clearing the Columbia area, exceeded their duties, stormed in the sit-in square and fired heavily and randomly, killing and wounding dozens.
“Some outlaws exploited this gathering and formed another gathering in what is known as the Columbia area, where negative and illegal practices took place,” Saeed said. “It became a security threat, forcing the authorities to make necessary arrangements to clear the area.”
Saeed gave the ranks and initials of eight officers he said had been charged with crimes against humanity, which is punishable by death or life imprisonment under military law. He did not reveal their full names.
The committee head said two senior officers ordered a brigadier general, whom he referred to only as AAM, to mobilize a riot force of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and launch an attack on the protesters.
Saeed said the investigation committee did not uncover any incidents of rape, although the US-based Physicians for Human Rights cited local doctors and medics as saying women had their clothes torn off and were raped. Sudan’s military council has previously denied any rape took place.